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The Gauteng Health Department has cautioned the public to be aware of a cholera outbreak in the province.

In a statement released by the department, it was confirmed that 19 new cases of cholera were reported in the Hammanskraal area just north of Pretoria. Ten deaths have also been reported.

“The department has been informed of cases of people presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms in the past few days, and this has led to 50 people receiving medical care at Jubilee Hospital.”

The public has been urged to “take extra precautionary measures and maintain proper hand hygiene as the country experience an outbreak”.

IOL reports that the highly infectious disease has also caused outbreaks in neighbouring countries, including Mozambique and Malawi, sparking concerns across the region.

The department advised people not to drink water from rivers, dams or streams without boiling or disinfecting first, and people generally become ill 12 to 18 hours after exposure.

Common symptoms include severe diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. Other symptoms are stomach cramps, fever and muscle pain.

Image credit: Daily Maverick

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